Friday, 1 February 2008



I was actually the owner of this song long before the Lemonheads made it famous.  I can’t say that I was necessarily into before that point but I was there, just about.  I bought the record on twelve from the Time Records stall in Clacton’s indoor market mostly based on how the cover gave off strong alt rock vibes and the fact that it had been released on Domino.  Then over the years I would come to confuse them with both Slint and Scrawl.

Smudge was one of Australia’s finest.  There has always been a nice stream of noisy alternative rock bands spewed from down under.  Indeed according to some people (some sources) in the past it has been claimed that the term “grunge” was actually applied to Australian bands ahead of their Seattle counterparts.  I guess in that heat things can get low and lazy, naturally slacker like.

“The Outdoor Type” is a glorious jaunt.  It works either quiet or cranked.  Compared to the more famous cover version of the song by the Lemonheads, the vocals here are less Evan Dando, more a played down J Mascis drawl.  As is the sound of the guitar.  And regardless of whose performing the song, the sentiments are perfect, ideal pop for any Generation X listener.  There was always room for the celebration of staying home and doing nothing.

All in all this is a very strong EP and collection of songs.  With “Scary Cassettes” the band explicitly wear their influences on their sleeves referencing Sebadoh with an almost embarrassing degree of reverence before “Dave The Talking Bear” executes the quiet loud quiet formula of the Pixies with perfection.

With this they smarten up with a couple of acoustic led compositions (“Not Here For A Haircut” and “Berlin Chair”) which serve to display their range and songwriting strength.  With this a Mark Mulcahy/Miracle Legion element is added to proceedings.  It wins.

Ultimately the band never quite hit the heights of the heavyweights they resembled which I guess would make them more akin to Gumball in the grand scheme of indie rock history.  Not a thing to sniff at.

Thesaurus moment: neighbours.

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